Giving Some Shape to My Writing Time

So I’ve got a little more time these days. One job ended and, while I’m working to discover the next one and what it will be, I’ve got time for other things. Like more writing. Which is good.

As long as I use it.

Sudden changes can be…sudden. And disruptive. We can focus too narrowly on one task, the one that seems to shout TOP PRIORITY at us, while tucking the other, equally important, pieces of our lives into a corner. I think I’ve done that for the past couple of weeks. Plus, then, there was the cold. Which wasn’t bad enough to keep me from focusing on those “priority” items, but told me it was too much for my creativity. I let myself listen. For a little while, that was okay. Adjustments take…adjusting.

But now it’s time to write. And to look at some goals. I have some more writing time. How do I want to use it? Typically, unsurprisingly, the novel is calling. This extra time I have now is undefined–it could disappear at any moment; it could last for a while. And that “while,” makes me feel like falling into long stretches of early drafting. It makes me feel like immersing myself in characters and moments that build, over pages, to bigger moments. It sounds relaxing, attractive.

I’m saying “no.” I’m saying, “Hey, you have picture books you’ve been trying to Finish.” Part of the call to the longer manuscript is fear; I know this. If I look realistically at where life is right now, I DO have time to finish those picture books. I have time to put in the real work, the committed and focused minutes and hours. Which means…Gulp. Setting to it and doing it. Facing all the quibbles and false starts and WTHs and pushing through them to the other side. Yeah: Fear.

It’s another time when I have to ask myself, “Hey, Becks, what is it you actually want?” And while one of those wants is, sure, to just lose myself in writing and writing and writing, there’s another big one that needs to be attended to. That Big Want is: I want to complete some more projects, I want to submit them, and I want to see what happens. I want to give myself that chance to have my books picked up and possibly, hopefully, end up on a publisher’s schedule and in a reader’s hands. Many readers’ hands.

So it’s picture books first. It’s commitment and determination and focus the projects I’ve brought this far for a reason. It’s getting past the fear and through to the love.

What’s at the top of your writing-to-do list this month?

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